The ‘pure’ and the punished. A deconstruction of circumcision.


PseudoscienceThis weeks feature on Pseudoscience is The ‘Pure’ and the punished. A deconstruction of circumcision. By Jeff Holiday.

Among the plethora of hotly debated topics in biology, one that has some of the farthest reaching effects is also commonly avoided: circumcision. It is estimated that, as of this writing, 1 in every 3 males on the planet are circumcised. To my recolle Continue reading

Circumcision: Denmarks most Prominent Muslim says no


(Activate the cc button for sub-titles in English)

The Danish circumcision debate is moving forward at a fast pace. A recent representative poll shows that a vast majority of the population is in favour of legislation. The idea is to impose an age restriction on circumcision which would allow the adult to make the decision for himself at age 18+.

Only 12% of the populations oppose legisl Continue reading

Anti-circumcision thank you note


NOT-letter

N. sent me this beautiful note in response to reading my piece An Insight into the Danish Circumcision Debate, which Continue reading

Circumcision of boys is mutilation


In Denmark the debate about circumcision of boys is raging. It has reached the headlines of national news papers as well as the opinion pages in the local ones.

Politicians, commentators, medical experts and children’s rights advocates are debating the issue. In 2013 circumcision without medical indication reached the Danish media more than 200 times. Less than one month into 2014 it looks as though that number may quadruple at the very least during the year to come.

If all goes according to plan, Denmark is less than a year from a total ban on circumcision of healthy boys. Intactivist are working for an 18 year age limit for elective genital surgery.

Support Intact Denmark’s work – donate here. Every little bit helps.

1597118_10202827902075973_1920636240_oOn 22nd January 2014 Dahir Jama Roobleh posted in local Danish paper Fyens Stiftstidende “Circumcision is not mutilation, Lena Nyhus, Chairwoman of Intact Denmark, an organisation which fights to ban circumcision in Denmark. Dear Lena, you must respect and accept our action, which is performed by Jews and Muslims. Do not interfere with our faith!”

Circumcision is mutilation

Dear Dahir Jama Roobleh

“Do not interfere with circumcision of boys, it’s a religious act performed by Jews and Muslims”,  you wrote to on 22nd January 2014.

I do not mind explaining why Intact Denmark – Against Circumcision of Children and I would not even consider abandoning the issue. We are an organisation founded by people with Jewish, Muslim and Christian backgrounds. Some of faith, some not. We are all of the opinion that the child has a right to it’s own body, a right to protection against mutilation, a right to a personal choice of religion and in particular the right to choose whether that religion should include saying goodbye to their most sensitive body parts.

Parents do not hold ownership rights to their children, they have the obligation to care for them. That does not give them the right to cut functioning parts of their children’s genitals.

Chairwoman Lena Nyhus - Intact DenmarkYou may not know it, but this Tuesday (21st January 2014) the Danish National Board of Health ended a hearing on “Guidelines to Circumcision of Boys), in that context the Danish Medical Association, the Danish College of Medical Practitioners, the National Council for Children, the Danish Family Planning Association, Children’s Welfare and a number of other super talented professionals have taken a stance on circumcision of boys in addition to Intact Denmark, naturally.

In common for all the answers to the hearing I have had a chance to see is the opinion htat circumcision of boys without medical indication is mutilation. As simple as that. An opinion shared with 85% of the Danish population. We must have legislation to protect the children now.

Join Intact Denmark and support the organisations efforts. Press here.

Allow me to explain why:

Children are persons in their own right. They have rights. They have the right to their own bodies. They have a right to their own religious beliefs. Those rights are strictly personal and every bit as inalienable as your personal rights and mine. That means that I may not amputate part of your healthy body. That means that I may not force my personal cultual, religious and aesthetic preferences on you. It also means that you may not do that to your children.

The religious freedom is personal. It does not include the right to carve your religion into the body of another human being. Not even if this human being is your own child.

Of course the adult man who understands consequences and riscs should be able to choose circumcision if he wishes to say goodbye to half of the sensitivity of his penis. Of course he should be able to choose to mark his religion or culture on his body. That is his choice. His free right. His human right.

The basis of our life in a democracy is the respect for each persons human rights. That is why I interfere in the question of circumcision of boys. That is why the members of Intact Denmark have entrusted me with the position of Chairwoman.

Omskæring ér lemlæstelseI will not stop until boys are protected from unnecessary surgery to their genitals, just as girls are under the current legislation.

Thank you for raising the issue in Fyens Stiftsstidende Dahir Jama Roobleh, without your effort I might not have had the chance to inform the papers readers about this issue. I suggest that we arrange a debate, during which we can talk it through thoroughly. What do you say?

In conclusion may I suggest that you try a thought experiment? Imagine a religion which demands that fingers, toes or ears are cut off the children. Would you accept that the neighbours children came to school without their left ring finger (it has fewer funtions than the foreskin by far) or perhaps without an ear? Where would you draw the line?

I claim that you and I would agree on that issue, just as I assume we will, when it comes to circumcision of girls. One does not cut healthy children!

Circumcision without medical indication is mutilation


Circumcision without medical indication is mutilation. The message from the Danish Society of Family Physicians is unmistakable: electory surgery on non-consenting minors must end.

Skærmbillede 2014-01-18 kl. 14.47.03The statement has been put forward in connection with a hearing by the Danish National Board of Health about guidelines regarding circumcision of minors.

The full wording is: “The National Board of Health has sent Guidelines Regarding Circumcision of Boys into hearing. DSAM (Danish Society of Family Physicians) has debated the issue and agreed that circumcision may only be performed when medical indication is present. Circumcision in the absence of a medical indication is mutilation.”

The stance against circumcision from DSAM is the latest in a series of clear statements from respected Danish and Scandinavian organisations.

Soon the Danish National Parliament will have no option than to ban genital mutilation of healthy boys. Adults who understands the consequences and risks regarding the procedure should of course be allowed the freedom to decide for them whether or not they want the procedure.

Question: Circumcised or intact penis?


Found on Facebook, the author has chosen to remain anonymous, but we post it with his permission. This was his answer to the question “Are you circumcised or intact and how do you feel about it?”

bigstock-Humorous-photo-of-a-man-in-his-50044520

Intact.

I am not going to lie. I am posting here because this subject is so sensitive to me. Friends who know me, especially those who have seen me in the buff, wonder Continue reading

A man’s point of view on circumcision


Eddy Cameron

A man’s point of view on circumcision.

I truly envy you Ladies. You’re Federally protected from female genital mutilation (FGM) in the United States, I am not. You have all your bits, I do not. I wonder what it feels like to be able to feel everything while I struggled to feel anything.

And yet, you can sit there, typing, with a straight face, extolling the benefits of male genital mutilation.

Remember that these are only words, and my words at that. They cannot harm Continue reading

Every circumcision is botched


Steven Svoboda, Founder of Attorneys for the Rights of the Child explains why every circumcision in his opinion is botched and tells why he got into intactivism decades ago.

On the uglyness of trolls and what to do about them


Since becoming an intactivist I find myself encountering a particular breed of human being, which I’ve never met or even heard about before. In lack of a better word I’ll call them trolls, but I expect that some of them … Continue reading

A defense of the foreskin


By Mikael Aktor
Originally published in the Danish daily INFORMATION and on INTACT DENMARK 10th July 2013 and to

If accidents or disease reduce the bodily functions of a child, we do whatever we can to remedy the damage. Why then inflict such a loss on healthy children ourselves?

June 27 was a sad day for Danish boys. On this day the minister of health, Astrid Krag, rejected legislation against boy circumcision on the basis of a newly delivered report from the Health Council. But the report and Krag’s arguments only relate to a very narrow health perspective, they do not deal with the equally important human rights aspects.

I am a member of an association – Intact Denmark, Association Against Child Circumcision – which has as it’s goal to restrict circumcision to persons who themselves express the wish to have it done and who have reached the age of consent. The arguments for this view among the members of the association vary but my own is quite Continue reading

Strong documentary on circumcision


Mischief: Circumcise Me? A documentary on circumcision. Exploring the hows and whys of circumcision, medical pros and cons. Sexual consequences. And finally coming to a conclusion: Should this baby boy be cut – not?

Lucking Into Bris Shalom


© 2011 Sarah Rockwell / Beyond the BrisAs a Jew I grew up thinking circumcision was normal. All of my younger cousins and the sons of family friends were circumcised. All the children I babysat for were circumcised. The sound of a wailing baby at a Bris was something familiar–as was the apparently peacefully sleeping baby afterward. The first time I saw an intact baby boy, I thought he looked strange.
When I was a teenager, my father started complaining about circumcision. He would say things like, “I don’t understand why, in a world full of pain, we choose to put our baby boys through even more pain.” It was only when I was pregnant with my son, and had a serious conversation with my father about circumcision, that I discovered he would not have wanted to cut a son of his own. He said to me, “There is enough pain in this world, why would anyone want to inflict pain on a newborn baby so that pain is all he knows of life?”Sarah RockwellAlthough I grew up as a Conservative Jew, learned to read Hebrew, had a Bat Mitzvah, and even kept kosher for a while, I gradually became more secular. I discovered a Reconstructionist synagogue in Miami and loved the Rabbi’s philosophy: “Judaism is like you grandmother’s attic–you take things down Continue reading

I was shocked…


By Eran Sadeh

My name is Eran Sadeh. I am Israeli. I am Jewish.

Eran Sadeh speaking out on circumcision

Eran Sadeh speaking out on circumcision

I was born 43 years ago in Tel Aviv, a healthy baby with a perfect body. 8 days after I was born one man held my tiny legs down while another man cut a part of my penis off with a knife.

I was in pain, I screamed, I bled. It’s over. But the part that was cut off from my penis is forever gone.

36 years later my son was born. Two days before Continue reading

“It’s a shock”, recounts a circumcision victim from Bochum, Germany


Original piece from German Daily Der Westen
“Es ist ein Schock”, Beschneidungsopfer aus Bochum erzählt
Thursday 22.11.2012 Bochum, Germany
By Andreas Eichhorn
Translated by Martin N.

Önder Özgeday

Önder Özgeday suffers because he was circumcised as a child of ten. Only later he did he realize what was taken from him. An association of concerned individuals laments that the legislative process would not hear from victims. And the subject has been trivialized in public.

Önder Özgeday can still remember the day when he was circumcised. At the time he was ten. It was a small doctor’s office, a Turkish doctor who had cut many of his acquaintances. He had to undress, Continue reading

Circumcised radio host: ‘It’s pure torture’ (Full translation)


By Kjeld Koplev, Radio Host / Journalist
(Full translation of article published in Danish daily Politiken 07/18/2012)
Translated and published by Lena Nyhus / IQvixen with permission from the author

Kjeld KoplevPhotographer: Miriam Dalsgaard

Kjeld Koplev
Photographer: Miriam Dalsgaard

Circumcision is an interference into the sex life of the Jewish man and should be stopped immediately.

The signature Anders Jerichouw (AJ) writes in the editorial of Politiken 07/15/2012 that circumcision of Jewish boys is the family’s way of passing on love.

I find that it is pure torture! Cocksure, AJ claims that the circumcision causes no harm. I say, that the torture I was exposed to when a Rabbi cut off my foreskin without anaesthesia   – and without medical experience or training – inflicted lifelong psychological trauma on me.

The Rabbi who yielded the knife also inflicted a castration anxiety that has stayed with me ever since.

I cannot in any way see that circumcision has the least to do with love. Continue reading

Circumcision and Jewish Identity


Jewish Scholar Miriam Pollack discusses male genital cutting (aka circumcision/genital mutilation) from a Jewish perspective. Many interesting and enlightened points.

Can you give me back my foreskin? (Full translation)


Open letter to Bent Lexner, Chief Rabbi of Denmark

By Leo Milgrom
(Milgroms translation of his original piece published in Danish daily Politiken ‘Kan du give mig min forhud tilbage?‘ 07/28/2012 and first covered by this blog here.)

March 1980: a man drives into a neighborhood south of Copenhagen. He stops in front of a terraced house, walks up the stairs to the first floor and into the bedroom where he proceeds to greet the people present. He recites a number of verses – and then he cuts of my foreskin and takes it with him.

32 years later I have grown up to write to you, Bent Lexner, because you are Chief Rabbi and in charge of Jewish circumcisions in Denmark. Questions have piled up Continue reading

Oppose religious branding


Oppose religious branding. Say no to genital mutilation aka circumcision. Design by Svend Eide Joensen

 

Fantastic! We have our second meme. This time designed by Svend Eide Joensen. He has chosen to address genital mutilation aka circumcision – regardless of gender – committed in the name of religion.

In some cultures it is claimed that genital mutilation is commanded by God in order curb sexuality, heighten cleanliness or demonstrate allegiance to the religion. Either way it is not only an assault on the child; an assault it could die or become permanently injured from. It is also a violation of the persons religious freedom.

Parents rights to religious freedom end where the child’s rights to religious freedom and an intact body begins.

Although disagreeing with Ayaan Hirsi Ali on male circumcision..


By Lena Nyhus / iQvixen

Now don’t get me wrong, I think Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an incredibly bright and brave woman who makes a true difference in the world and I thoroughly respect her work, but while I completely agree with her opinion on female genital mutilation (FGM) I reserve the right to disagree with her stance on male genital mutilation aka circumcision.

Following the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendation to allow a nick in the clitoris as a symbolic alternative to more intrusive female genital mutilation rituals (the lesser of two evils argument) Ayaan Hirsi Ali voiced a strong counter argument; allowing any ritual even a nick – which is still genital mutilation by the way – is sending a signal that we as a society accept the basic premise, that women are inferior beings with an evil sexuality that should be harnessed. Of course, any society that considers all humans created equal cannot accept such an attitude; as Ayaan Hirsi Ali has put it on a different occasion ‘Tolerance of intolerance is cowardice‘.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Read Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s response to AAPs FGM recommendations here

But as right and just Ali is on the stance against FGM, she is wrong – both factually and morally – when claiming that male genital mutilation is less invasive.

Factually:

How foreskin functions

Cutting away the foreskin Continue reading

German Paediatric Association suggests Ban on Circumcision of Boys


In early December 2012 The German Paediatric Association took a massive leap forward in the defence of children subjected to genital mutilation.

Based on comprehensive studies into amongst others circumcision procedures, pain thresholds in infants and children as well as possible physical and psychological consequences of the procedure the German Paediatric Association (Berufsverband der Kinder- und Jugendärzte e.V.) recommended a ban on circumcision of boys.

Referring to studies by numerous specialists their conclusion was clear Continue reading